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Certification Program

Established in 1995, AAERT’s ongoing certification program for digital (electronic) reporters and transcriptionists is a test of our members’ professional skills.

CER®

(certified electronic reporter)

CET®

(certified electronic transcriber)

CDR®

(certified deposition reporter)

Register for an exam

Exams are done remotely and registration is always open.


YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR READING ALL INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE YOU SCHEDULE YOUR EXAM!


Become a Leader in the Industry

The AAERT certifications are recognized as the leading certification for many courts and businesses throughout the United States. These certifications are growing in popularity in Canada and throughout the world due to the many years of professional development of our Best Practices Guide and proficient testing.

Receiving and holding an AAERT certification designation demonstrates a continuous dedication and knowledge of the digital court reporting and transcription profession. Completing the AAERT certification process represents proof of your professionalism and an understanding of your trade.

Anyone holding a CER® or CET® or CDR® is required to be recertified every (3) THREE years. See Recertification Tab for full information.

Breakdown of the Certification Exams

Certified Electronic Reporter (CER®)

The Certified Electronic Reporter captures the record by digitally recording court and non-court proceedings, including trials, hearings, depositions, EUOs, statements on the record, aids of execution, meetings, arbitrations, etc.

To obtain your CER® certification, you are required to pass an online multiple choice knowledge examination. The knowledge examination includes questions covering:

  • court and non-court proceedings,
  • reporting protocols and digital reporting software and equipment,
  • general legal procedures,
  • ethical and professional behavior, and
  • vocabulary

You will need a score of 80 percent or higher to pass. You will have 120 minutes to complete the exam.

Once you’ve passed the certification examination, you are awarded the CER® certificate.


Certified Electronic Transcriber (CET®)

The Certified Electronic Transcriber captures the record by transcribing digitally recorded court and non-court proceedings verbatim.

To obtain your CET® certification, you are required to pass an online multiple-choice knowledge examination and produce a transcript from a digitally recorded proceeding (practical examination). These two test portions take place on different days; you must pass the knowledge portion of the exam prior to sitting for the practical portion.

The knowledge examination includes questions covering:

  • transcript formatting and proofreading,
  • transcription software and equipment,
  • general legal procedures,
  • ethical and professional behavior, and
  • vocabulary

You will need a score of 80 percent or higher to pass. You will have 120 minutes to complete this portion of the exam.

Once you have received a passing grade, you will be instructed on how to schedule a time to take the second portion of the exam, the practical examination. If you did not receive a passing grade, you will need to retake the knowledge portion of the exam again prior to moving on to the practical exam.

The practical examination entails creating a transcript using the federal format. You will be given a mock court proceeding recorded on four-channel digital software. You are required to complete all of the audio files supplied to you at the time of your exam. The transcript will be approximately 10-20 pages and must include a title page, index page, and certification page. You will have 150 minutes to complete the transcript.

In order to pass, you will need to demonstrate 98 percent accuracy. If you do not receive a passing grade, you will only need to retake and pass this portion of the exam in order to receive your certification.

  1. Review all information found on the Sample Questions page of AAERT website. You will find many federal formatting examples, Word templates, as well as a practice Sample Transcript with answer key.
  2. CET Practical Transcript: You must use federal formatting and your transcript must include a title page, index page, and certificate.

Once you’ve passed both portions of the certification examination, you are awarded the CET® certificate.


Certified Deposition Reporter (CDR®)

The Certified Deposition Reporter captures the record by digitally recording depositions and other out-of-court legal proceedings, including EUOs, statements on the record, and aids of execution. The knowledge examination includes questions covering:

  • depositions and other non-court proceedings,
  • reporting protocols and digital reporting software and equipment,
  • general legal procedures,
  • ethical and professional behavior, and
  • vocabulary

You will need a score of 70 percent or higher to pass. You will have 120 minutes to complete the exam.

FAQs and Tips

Tips for Success?
  • Read and follow all of the provided instructions.
  • Review all information found on the Sample Questions page of AAERT website. You will find many federal formatting examples, Word templates, as well as a practice Sample Transcript with answer key.
  • CET Practical Transcript: You must use federal formatting and your transcript must include a title page, index page, and certificate.
  • Do unproctored generic practice exam repeatedly until you’re confident in the exam taking process.
  • Do the proctored generic practice exam! You don’t want to discover equipment issues on exam day!
  • Be sure your computer, software, and drivers are up-to-date.
  • Give yourself plenty of time before and after your exam session so you are not rushed.
Am I eligible to take the exam?
  • Testers do not need to be a member of AAERT in order to sit for an AAERT exam. If they pass the exam(s), they must become a Professional Member within 30 days in order to receive their certification.
  • In order to sit for the exam(s), testers must:
    • be eligible for a notary public commission AND
    • have obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent
  • For a greater likelihood of passing the exam, the following is recommended (not required) for testers:
    • have one year of experience as a reporter or transcriber; OR
    • have completed a course of study in court reporting.
What is an Online Proctored Exam?
  • An online proctored exam is an exam that can be taken from your home or office. There will be a person, a proctor, who verifies your identity and secures your testing environment. The proctor will be able to see you and your screen.
What are the fees for the examination?

Information on Fees and Deadlines can be found on our Fees and Deadlines page.

What resources are available to prepare for the examinations?
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